The Power is in your Hands

Over the last 10 weeks of studying Convergent Media Practices subject, there were 3 distinctive blog posts in particular that contributed to my understanding of the subject. The ability to understand the changing role of the audience, the rise of citizen journalists and the use of social networking sites allowed me to gain useful knowledge on the concept ‘convergence’. We have the power to influence the world.

In the process of writing my blog post in week 5 ‘Do you want to be heard?’ it was brought to my attention that due to rate of convergence moving rapidly, there are new opportunitiess for audiences to engage with content and participate with media platforms. I’ve learnt that the traditional passive consumer is evolving into an active consumer, producing and distributing its own content. The key concept that was used throughout my post was citizen journalism; we are no longer just the audience. I’ve learnt that if the audience does not get given the information, they will go ahead and produce it themselves. I believe the rise of the participatory culture has been encouraged by social networking sites; it has allowed active consumers to aggregate knowledge. Therefore, I believe the internet is largely responsible for the changing role of the audience.

It was brought to my attention in week 6, that mainstream news media is on the verge of collapsing due to the rise of citizen journalism. My blog post ‘Welcome, to the New Land of Citizen Journalism’ emphasised the ways in which citizen journalism poses a major impact on the future the news media. I’ve learnt citizen journalists essentially have nothing to lose because the internet has no cost of entry, no gatekeepers and no up-front risks. On the other hand, every aspect of mainstream journalism is in crisis because the internet is an uncontrollable powerful medium. I believe the internet has enabled citizen journalist to bring hidden news to life, via producing and sharing content on social networking such as Facebook which thrives on ‘citizen journalism’. Clearly, the power is in our hands.

My week 9 blog post, “Youth + Social Media = Future” I’ve learnt that the emergence of young activists is on the rise; they are becoming active citizens. I believe in today’s society the youth are passionate about various global political, economic and social issues. Young activists are addressing these issues via using the power of social media to change the world. I believe social media platforms are playing are significant role in the success of youth political campaigns. Therefore, social media platforms are an important ‘political educational tool’. As long as the internet is around, the power is in our hands.

Source: Thinkandbeinspired

Source: Thinkandbeinspired

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By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM112

R.E.S.P.E.C.T

The emergence of the online participatory culture has created new opportunities for the traditional passive consumer to transform into an active consumer. The invention of digital technologies and social media allowed individual voices to be heard. Majority of online content is dominated by men as a result there is a lesser participation of woman online. This may potentially raise a cause of concern surrounding the gender gap. Throughout the world social media platforms were used in an ethical way to post and share content. However, over the last decade a gloomy shadow has been casted over the online participatory culture.

The freedom of individual expression online has resulted in cyber bullying, trolling, sexism, racism, exclusion and misogyny. In particular, women have been the target of violent, offensive and threating comments posted online. Many cyber-bullies hide behind an unrevealed identity and this allows them to continue to cause emotional hurt to their victem. Female journalists that interact with content online and contribute to national debates have become the victem’s of cyber bulling (Thorpe & Rogers, 2011). The increase of misogyny online has caused widespread fear amongst female writers globally. It is very important for users online to respect the viewpoints of women because their voices have the right to be heard as well.

Source: Keep Calm-o-matic

Source: Keep Calm-o-matic

Due lack of authority online, trolls continue to post offensive comments on various networking sites. In 2012, TV personality Charlotte Dawson became the target of online Twitter trolls, who launched a campaign of hate mail and death threats. The Social networking sites, such as Twitter facilitated the cyber bullying. Each Twitter post ended with the hashtag ‘#diecharlotte’, which indicates how disturbed and twisted the minds of the twitter trolls are. You have to wonder what kind of morals and respect for humanity these twitter trolls have. Whilst Twitter rules state users cannot post illegal material or post direct threats, it did not prevent the Twitter trolls from tweeting such comments as ‘Go hang yourself’. After receiving numerous threatening tweets, Dawson could no longer put up with the cyber bullying and attempted to commit suicide. On her Twitter account she signed off with the disturbing message ‘you win x’. It is evident, cyber bullying via social networking sites can harm an individual’s well-being.

The online participatory culture has created new opportunities for women but at the same time has brought fear amongst women. Various social networking sites have created a safe haven for trolls to cyber bully and display misogyny. As a result, Governments need to take action and address the issue of cyber bullying of women online. Ultimately, Women need to feel safe online and be treated with respect.

References
Thorpe, Vanessa (2011) Women bloggers call for a stop to ‘hateful’ trolling by misogynist men, The Guardian, Sunday 6 November, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/05/women-bloggers-hateful-trolling

By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM112

Youth + Social Media = Future

Overtime, the definition and characteristics associated with ‘youth’ has altered. Globally, people assume and view the younger population as being lazy and egotistic. A common trend as appeared amongst the younger generation, they are disengaged with traditional politics and are concerned about their own quality of life. The emergence of young activists is on the rise; they are becoming active citizens and operating as political communities. The youth are passionate about various global issues such as equality rights, environmental awareness and to put an end to poverty. Young activists are addressing these issues and concerns by using the power of social media to change the world (Jenkins, 2012).

Source: servebbs

Source: servebbs

Social media platforms are playing are significant role in the success of youth political campaigns. Various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are being used by activist movements to motivate participants to take a stand for what they believe in. Social media reflects the values of a more participatory culture; it has assisted young people to share their personal stories to address the issue (Jenkins, 2012). Social networking sites have assisted youth movements to become influential players online. Clearly, social media platforms are an important ‘political educational tool’. Due to technological convergence, the use of social media has allowed online movements to reach a larger global audience; as a result it has enabled them to recruit international support from young activist.

The World Wide Web provides young aspiring activists with numerous possibilities to participate in global issues. Oxfam Australia’s ‘3things’ movement aims to transform young Australians into active global citizens, in the fight to create a world without poverty. The intended goal of the ‘3things’ movement is to persuade governments to adopt policies that support a poverty free world. The movement practices of participatory politics, emphasise poverty awareness and the steps needed to take positive action.

Source: Oxfam

Source: Oxfam

The gap between the rich and the poor is becoming so wide, young activists are fighting for change and radical democracy. The Occupy movement allows activists the right to voice their opinion and fight against economic, political and social injustice. Among the activists protesting are youths who are marginalized by race, class and university students who are unable to find jobs. Strauss (2011) explains that class warfare significantly impacts young people and cuts off the future. Since the youth are the future, the need for change is necessary. Therefore, it is important that governments worldwide work collaboratively to addresses and resolve the issues raised by youth activists. Since the youth are the ultimate symbol of the future.

References
Jenkins, Henry. (2012). ‘The New Political Commons’. Options Politiques.
http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/nov12/jenkins.pdf

Strauss, Jesse. (2011). ‘Youth movement in a culture of hopelessness’. Aljazeera.com.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/occupywallstreet/2011/10/2011107172820297149.html

By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM112

Caught Up in the Remix!

Due to the rate of convergence moving rapidly, there are new opportunities for the passive consumer to produce and distribute their own content. In today’s society nothing is original. Remixes enable artists to rearrange and modify the original content. Although the past inspires users to re-invent original content, the user should somehow manage to put their own unique twist on their creation. In the book, Remix: making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy, Lessig (2008)“describes two cultures: one made to be consumed (Read-only), the other made to be remade (Read-write).” The diversity of new media technologies such as the internet will enable the RO and RW culture to flourish in the future.

Overtime, the evolution of genres and the rich history of music had enabled artists to re-invent and transform original content. The six second drum beat of the Amen Break continues to be in popular demand by gospel, funk, hip hop and electronic artists. The success of the the drum loop has generated decades of musical innovation of scratching and remixing. With the explosion of technologies, more artists in the music industry are exploring music sampling. Take a look at American R&B singer Jason Derulo’s song “Fight for You” which samples Toto’s 1983 hit ‘Africa’. Numerous other Artists such as JoJo, Wiz Khalifa, and Ja Rule have also sampled Toto’s most recognizable song. The remix culture is responsible for bringing old and original content back to life.

The various use of remix, mash up and media repurposing practices have led to audience participation and empowerment. Filesharing is offering users to engage in produsage cultural practices. According to Bruns (2010), he states that Produsage is an “ongoing, never finished process of content development and redevelopment” in the pursuit of new possibilities. YouTube has created a platform for users to showcase their mash-up creations. The music and video mash-up below by Daniel Kim, ‘Pop Danthology 2012 – Mashup of 50+ Pop Songs’ has received over 30, 885,474 views and still counting. It is evident that if a mash-up is made successfully it can gain more attention and popularity than its original source (Bruns, 2010).

It is important for all users not to get swept up in the whirlwind of their remix and mash-up success. They must remain grounded and respect the copyright laws and intellectual properties of other artists. Subsequently, the remix culture phenomenon will continue to grow.

References

Bruns, Axel (2010) Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage
http://snurb.info/files/2010/Distributed%20Creativity%20-%20Filesharing%20and%20Produsage.pdf

Lessig, Lawrence (2008) Remix: making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy, pp.23-31
http://ia600204.us.archive.org/13/items/LawrenceLessigRemix/Remix-o.pdf

By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM112

Let the Transmedia Narrative Begin!

A transmedia narrative is a significant concept of the convergence culture. The video below views transmedia storytelling as creating a complex experience. In Henry Jenkins, article Transmedia Storytelling 101 (2007) he states that, “By convergence I mean the flow of content across multiple media platforms.” Similarly, transmedia content shares multiple stories over numerous mediums and channels. Over time, new media platforms have revolutionised the ways in which the audience interprets the medium and the message. Therefore, transmedia narratives allow content to flow across multiple channels such as books, films, games, TV series, merchandise and websites. The multiple options of mediums are catalyst for a powerful cross-marketing effect.

An important principle of transmedia narratives is to create an innovative medium that engages the audience’s attention. Thus, engagement is the key principle. Essentially, the more entry points to the story will result in additional options for audience engagement. According to Henry Jenkins (2007) he states that “Transmedia storytelling is the ideal aesthetic form for an era of collective intelligence.” It may indicate that audience participation plays an important part in discovering the fictional world.

Transmedia storytelling provides opportunities for the producer of the content to build a successful relationship with the audience. In Hollywood, the most recent example of transmedia story telling is The Hunger Games movie trilogy. In the summer of 2011, Lions Gate created a transmedia campaign for their film adaptation of The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games Case Study from Ignition on Vimeo.

In partnership with Microsoft, The Hunger Games Explorer was an interactive website that allowed the audience to engage across multiple channels. The website allowed fans to become citizens of the Panem and advance the campaigns narrative through their own actions. On the website, citizens were able to go on a Capitol Tour and access never before scene locations of Panem. At the American Video Music Awards, a twitter hashtag (#Whatsmydistrict) was used in the teaser trailer that allowed fans to discover the capitol and its location. On the Capitol.pn site fans were given district assignments, a job and an ID card. On networking sites such as Facebook, hubs were created for Panems 12 districts and citizens were able to run for their district mayor ship. On Tumblr, a fashion blog was created to showcase the fashion couture of Panem and Capitol TV was created on YouTube. In the course of the campaign the most enthusiastic Fans received merchandise, exclusive emails of capitol figures and fans were able to work collaborator to reveal campaigns. Over the 8 month period, 1 million ID cards were created, dramatic increase in the films Facebook page, 22 million video views, 36,500,000 books sold and helped Lions Gate achieve the highest non-sequel opening in film history.

Source: Frozenemotion

Source: Frozenemotion

This is just the beginning of The Hunger Games transmedia narrative, audiences will have to wait and see what transmedia experience is yet to develop.

Reference
Jenkins, H. (2007) ‘Transmedia Storytelling 101’, http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html

By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM112

Welcome, to the New Land of Citizen Journalism

We are no longer just ‘the audience’. The internet has led to the rise of the participatory culture to flourish and user-led content creation is showing no chance of slowing down. The traditional passive consumer is evolving into an active consumer, producing, sharing and consuming content. Since the arrival of the internet, the rise of citizen journalism has resulted in mainstream journalism being viewed as dying or already dead.

Citizen journalists essentially have nothing to lose because the internet has no cost of entry, no gatekeepers and no up-front risks. On the other hand, every aspect of mainstream journalism is in crisis because the internet is an uncontrollable powerful medium. Traditional news media provides the audience with an agglomeration of news in one package, it has the ability to deliver trustworthy information and sell advertising space at inflated prices. Therefore, over the top advertisement prices fund the survival of newspapers. Subsequently, the internet provided a new inexpensive advertisement environment allowing advertisers to reach a global audience. The graph below clearly illustrates the decline in newspaper advertisement revenue as a result of the internet. Ultimately for traditional news media to survive there is the need to charge all content online and abolish citizen journalism.

Source: Business Insider

Source: Business Insider

Citizen journalism has evolved into a successful user led online phenomenon. The eBizMBA Ranks reveals the top 3 most popular blogs for May 2013 are the Huffington Post, TMZ and The Business Insider. The Huffington Post received an estimated 54,000,000 unique monthly visitors. The statistic reveals Newspapers are becoming less popular and more people are receiving their news online. The internet has allowed citizen journalism to be an open process and where authority is non-existent. According to Axel Bruns, (2007) he describes “the concept of produsage as model of describing today’s emerging user-led content creation environments.” Citizen journalists are continuing to collaborate and are developing ways to extend existing content in the pursuit of further improvement.

The internet has enabled citizen journalist to bring hidden news to life, via producing and sharing content on social networking such as Facebook which thrives on ‘citizen journalism’. Recently, The Huffington Post revealed the power of social media and how Facebook provided the first photo of suspect 2 in the Boston Marathon bombings. The article reveals David Green, a Boston Marathon runner, captured a photo of suspect 2 with his iPhone 4S shortly after the two blasts exploded near the finishing line. It clearly indicates, Citizen journalists are powerful members of society.

Source: David Green

Source: David Green

Due to the rate of convergence, citizen journalism will continue to have a major impact on the survival of traditional news media forms. The future of mainstream journalism looks bleak, while the popularity and power of citizen journalism will continue to rise.

References
Bruns, Axel (2007) Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. In Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6, Washington, DC. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/6623/1/6623.pdf